St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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November 19, 2015 Town Council Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentAttorney David Austgen
Larry Bustamante, Vice-PresidentSteve Kil, Town Manager
Gregory VolkClerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury
Mark Barenie 
Ken Gembala 

CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called the November 19, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:
Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury, took roll call with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Larry Bustamante, Gregory Volk, Mark Barenie and Ken Gembala. Staff members: Chief Fred Willman, Chief Fred Frego. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chip Sobek was absent. Attorney Austgen was present. Town Council Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
OCTOBER 22, 2015, REGULAR MEETING.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for October 22, 2015. He asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of October 22, 2015. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-11-19, A RESOLUTION APPROVING AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION --- PUBLIC HEARING.

Mr. Forbes announced the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2015-11-19, a Resolution Approving an Additional Appropriation. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Austgen if the Proofs of Publication were in order. Attorney Austgen noted that there were two Notices for Public Hearing, one in the Post Tribune on November 7, 2015 and another published in the Northwest Indiana Times on November 9, 2015. He stated that the publications are in order and the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury if she had a presentation for the Council. She responded she would explain the appropriations if the Council needed an explanation. Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury why the money was being appropriated.

Ms. Sury stated that there was money in the fund but not the appropriation. Mr. Forbes asked what the money would be spent on. Ms. Sury briefly explained where the money would be appropriated as follows, fire department, personal services; Building and Planning, services and supplies; MBH, supplies and services; Park Department, other services; Waterworks, supplies; lease payment; CCI, equipment; cum sewer, other equipment.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie noted that this would be the third lease payment this year and the lease payments are made only twice a year. Ms. Sury explained that the payment was “messed up.” Mr. Kil acknowledged that this is the third payment in this calendar year due to a payment that was due on December 31, 2014, being paid in January of 2015.

Mr. Barenie asked if there was a system in place so the payment would be made timely. Ms. Sury explained that it was promised that the invoice would be sent on time and it wasn’t.

(General discussion ensued.)

There was no further comment from the Council. Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing.

P U B L I C H E A R I N G

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero requested that the State Board of Accounts audit the Town of St. John financials immediately to look at the expenditures and identify if there have been any misappropriations made and, if so, have the misappropriations impacted any of the appropriations before the Council tonight.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1615, REZONE OF THE HUPPENTHAL/HERMAN/THE PRESERVES OF SCHILTON HILLS FROM R-1 TO RC-1 PUD.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was to consider Ordinance No. 1615, the Rezone of the Huppenthal/Herman/The Preserves of Schilton Hills from R-1 to RC-1PUD. Mr. Forbes noted that this item came with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1615.

Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1615, a rezone of The Preserves of Schilton Hills from R-1 to RC-1 PUD. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1617, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SCHEDULE OF WAGES AND SALARIES FOR THE TOWN OF ST. JOHN.

Mr. Forbes note the next item for the Council’s attention was Ordinance 1617, an Ordinance Establishing a Schedule of Wages and Salaries for the Town of St. John. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the Council. There were no questions from the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance 1617 on first reading.

(General discussion ensued.)

“So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1617. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1617. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none. Mr. Gembala abstained.

D. CONSIDER APPOINTMENT TO THE ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was an appointment to the St. John Plan Commission. He stated that staff member, Mr. Tom Redar, has stepped down from his appointment to the Plan Commission because he is retiring at the end of the month.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to appoint Mr. Greg Volk to the Plan Commission. Mr. Barenie made a motion to appoint Mr. Greg Volk to the Plan Commission. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-11-19A, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE.

Mr. Forbes addressed the next item on the agenda, Resolution No. 2015-11-19A, a Resolution Authorizing the Transfer of Certain Real Estate. He asked the Council if they had any questions or comments. Mr. Volk noted there were some considerations for the buyer. Mr. Forbes stated his belief that an agreement will be formed for whoever purchases the property.

Mr. Kil stated there will be an approximate 40,000 square foot addition onto the ice arena. He stated Midwest is doing very well. The plan is to open up the second sheet of ice again and take the gymnastics portion of the business and move it into the new facility. He stated more parking will be recreated on site at the location of the sand volley ball pits and the volley ball pits will be reconstructed next to the new parking. Mr. Kil noted all costs are to be borne by the buyer.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19A. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER BID AWARD FOR CERTAIN REAL ESTATE CONSISTING OF APPROXIMATELY ONE ACRE, MORE OR LESS, LOCATED AT 106000 WHITE OAK AVENUE.

Mr. Forbes stated the Council will Consider a Bid Award for Certain Real Estate Consisting of Approximately One Acre, more or less, located at 10600 White Oak Avenue.

Attorney Austgen explained that there are certain statutory processes in Indiana for the disposal of real property which exceeds a certain dollar amount, in this case, $15,000. He stated an appraisal was made of the property slated for disposal in consideration for a development agreement which was previously explained by Mr. Kil. Attorney Austgen stated that the developer has entered into an agreement with the Town that assures the Town of the nature, type, status and quality of the use proposed for the real property.

Attorney Austgen stated that the development agreement is being worked on. He stated that the bid is consistent with the covenants of law following publication of Notice to Bidder in the newspaper(s), which allowed interested individuals to come in and make a bid. He stated one bid was received. Attorney Austgen recommended that the Council consider the bid contingent upon creation of a development agreement that the Town can enter in to wherein the terms and conditions are acceptable. He characterized the award as being a conditional award.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion on the bid award. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain motion to accept the bid award contingent upon an acceptable purchase agreement and a development agreement that is consistent with representations made by bidder/developer and including a project plan. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

TOWN COUNCIL:
Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Gembala stated he hoped the Town would continue the enforcement of their sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Bustamante informed the Council that Christmas in the Park would start at 7:00 p.m. on November 27.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie had no reports.

Mr. Forbes stated he had two Requests to Purchase for Cargill for salt, the first request is for 360 tons at $28,767.60 and the second request is for 1,440 tons at $115,070.40. Mr. Kil commented that these purchases encompass the Town buying their contracted amount of salt, with more on reserve.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize the purchases. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize payment of these bills. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he had two Requests to Purchase a large plow truck and equipment. The first request was for Pozzo Truck in the amount of $93,706.20 for a truck and chassis, the second request was for Linco Equipment for accessories including a plow and spreader in the amount of $81,101.00. Mr. Forbes stated the truck will make a great addition to the Town’s fleet for snow removal. He stated the truck would not be in service until next year.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize payment for the Request to Purchase in the amounts of $93,706.20 and $81,101.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes gave a report on the Haunted House for 2015. He stated there were 90 volunteer high school students along with a few adults. Mr. Forbes stated he could not thank enough the actors/actresses who participated. He stated St. John’s Haunted House was the recipient of two awards this year. Horror Tours selected St. John’s Haunted House for their Hall of Fame for the second year in a row. Haunted House Chicago awarded one of the young actresses with a 2015 acting award. Mr. Forbes commented that this acting award spoke volumes of the ability of the young actress.

Mr. Forbes stated that Haunted House was visited by 3,551 persons and 279 children. Total expenses: $38,597.20; Total Revenue: 52,325.00; Profit: $14,727.80. Mr. Forbes stated that October 29 revenues from the Haunted House were to be equally divided to the Dollars for Scholars program for students at Lake Central High School and Hanover Central High School. He stated that October 29 revenues amounted to $2,895. He asked the Council to bump up the amount to an even $3,000.00 and award each school $1,500.00.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to add the additional monies out of the Haunted House fund to round up the scholarship award amount to $3,000.00. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize the additional funds. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Lion’s Club participates in the Haunted House activities on Kids Days by passing out candy and making the Haunted House a pleasant experience for the kids. He stated typically they donate $500.00 to the Lion’s Club to reimburse them for their expenses.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to make a $500 donation to the Lion’s Club. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize a $500 donation to the Lion’s Club. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no reports.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no reports.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil asked the Council to authorize Christmas Eve as a holiday, as is the custom, so the day could be planned properly and staffed.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize Christmas Eve as a holiday for the Town’s staff. Mr. Barenie made a motion to authorize December 24, 2015, as a holiday. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that their next meeting, the last meeting of the year, would be held on December 17, 2015.

* * * * * *

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s October, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Fred Frego presented the Fire Department’s October 1-31, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that the five-page docket reflected the amount of $1,440,025.34 He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He asked anyone wishing to speak to provide their name and address for the record.

P U B L I C C O M M E N T

Jerry Swets, 9490 Joliet
Mr. Swets noted Ordinance No. 1617, wherein the Town established wages and salaries. He asked if this information was available somewhere for him to view. Mr. Forbes directed him to the Clerk’s Office. Mr. Kil stated all employees received a three percent wage. Mr. Kil indicated that Mr. Swets could call with questions.

Mr. Swets asked if information regarding the real estate resolution was also available for his viewing. Mr. Kil stated that this was a legal transaction and was published in the newspaper; he stated the purchase price was $26,000.00. Mr. Swets asked if the Town was in the habit of selling green space. Mr. Kil responded that this transaction was basically pavement and not green space.

Mr. Swets stated he is interested in the Town’s activities. He stated he is a member of St. John Homeowner’s PAC, a legally formed political action committee. Mr. Swets stated that this is the first meeting of the Council since the election, and he supposed congratulations were in order to Mr. Forbes, Mr. Barenie and Mr. Hastings.

Mr. Swets described himself a “Calm and reasonable guy. I try to play fair but I play to win.” He stated he felt like he had been punched in the gut by the Town. Mr. Swets stated on election night one of the PAC members went out and put some signs out that PAC had paid for.

Mr. Swets stated he showed up at the library the next morning to do his civic duty, trying to influence voters to vote the way he wanted them to vote. He stated that he noticed none of his signs were around and he found out later on that Mr. Kil had removed the signs the night before. He stated he also found out that Mr. Forbes was present and watched Mr. Kil remove the signs. He wondered “what the heck was going on?” Mr. Swets stated it is against the law in the State of Indiana to remove political signs.

Mr. Swets stated the PAC wanted their signs back. Mr. Kil stated he could certainly have this conversation with Mr. Swets. He stated Mr. Hero put up the signs. Mr. Kil stated he wrote Mr. Hero a letter informing him that he was in violation of the sign ordinance and everything was cited.

Mr. Kil stated that the placement of the illegal signs, like the ones Mr. Swets was referring to, he went and took them down to abate the problem. Mr. Kil stated that he sent a letter sent to Mr. Hero spelling out what constitutes an illegal sign. He indicated that he informed Mr. Hero that the signs are stored in a secure location in the custody of the Town. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Hero clearly identified himself in postings on social media and in a police report as the individual who violated the sign ordinance and placed the illegal signs.

Mr. Swets asked what was illegal about the signs. Mr. Kil stated if Mr. Swets would come to his office, he would be happy to provide the information requested.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen cited the Town’s ordinance and sections that were related as follows: Ordinance No. 1483, Chapter 15, Section(s) C9B, C9I, C9P, G2F, G2G and definition, Chapter 19. He stated several sections were involved. Attorney Austgen stated this information is also public record. He offered Mr. Swets a copy of the ordinance. Mr. Swets declined.

Mr. Swets stated he looked at the ordinance and questioned whether the signs put up by the PAC were illegal. He asked what individual determined the signs were illegal, and he would question that. He asked the Council what the remedy was for putting up an illegal sign. He asked if it was Mr. Kil’s job to remove them. Mr. Kil responded that illegal signs are routinely removed.

Mr. Swets stated this was a political sign, an election sign put up by a PAC registered with the state. He stated the sign was allowed to be posted on property.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Swets if he, Mr. Kil, was running for election. Mr. Swets responded, “No.”

Mr. Kil offered Mr. Swets a copy of the ordinance. Mr. Swets stated he has seen the ordinance and wondered what was found to make the signs illegal. Mr. Kil stated that Attorney Austgen just explained what ordinance was violated.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Swets asked for an explanation as to what was illegal. Mr. Kil asked Attorney Austgen to explain. Attorney Austgen stated he would not offer an explanation or an interpretation of the code. He stated that there are strict black and white terms in the ordinance that he cited earlier that were violated.

Mr. Swets asked Attorney Austgen if he was in agreement that their signs were Illegal. Attorney Austgen responded, “Yes.”

Mr. Swets asked when the PAC would get their signs back. Mr. Kil stated nobody had asked for the return of the signs yet until now. Mr. Swets stated they would pick the signs up tomorrow.

Mr. Swets stated he heard an election speech and the words come to mind that the Town’s business is transparent. Mr. Swets asked Mr. Forbes if he remembered saying that. Mr. Forbes responded, “Yes.” Mr. Swets opined that Mr. Forbes misunderstood the meaning of the word transparent. He stated it seems like a lot of things that are going on in Town are invisible and cannot be seen. He stated dates of meetings get changed, albeit, legally, two days before a meeting is to be held and it is cancelled.

Mr. Swets stated it seems as if things get done in secret. He opined, “It seems kind of sneaky.” Mr. Forbes stated everything done by the Town Council is above board, and everything is discussed publicly. Mr. Swets stated that the habit of cancelling meetings within two days just does not seem fair.

Mr. Swets stated the last thing he wanted to say to the Council was, “What gives you the right to suppress our voices? This is America. We have the right to have our own opinion. We have the right to elect who we choose to and endorse who we choose to. And by removing our signs, you stole our voice, you stole our opinion, and I think you violated the law.” He stated the best way to do one’s civic duty is by exercising their free speech. He stated the removal of the PAC’s signs violated the law and civil rights.

Mr. Swets stated if the Council thought the PAC was just about a roundabout and a town center… surprise. He stated the dirty tricks that the Council has done has forced the PAC to do a little bit more. Mr. Swets stated the PAC will be here, they’re not going away. He stated they will keep the Council accountable. Mr. Swets stated he does not question that the Council wants to do what’s best for the Town, but he questions the way they do it.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive
Mr. Hero stated that the signs were not illegal. He addressed Attorney Austgen, “Did you authorize Mr. Kil to remove those signs?” Attorney Austgen responded “I don’t authorize Mr. Kil to do anything.”

Mr. Hero asked “Did you advise him to remove those signs? Attorney Austgen, “I don’t tell anybody what I advise my client.” Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Kil came to the police and said he had talked to you and was told it was okay to take the signs. Attorney Austgen stated he didn’t know what Mr. Kil had told the police or Mr. Hero.

Mr. Hero asked Attorney Austgen, “Did you tell Mr. Kil it was okay to steal those signs?” Attorney Austgen stated, “Absolutely not. I didn’t tell him to steal anything.” Mr. Hero, “To convert those signs?” Attorney Austgen, “Well, that’s your word.” Mr. Hero, “To take the signs?” Attorney Austgen, “Absolutely not. I didn’t tell him to do anything.” Mr. Hero stated Mr. Kil seemed to think so and that’s what he told the police. Attorney Austgen stated he did not know what Mr. Kil told the police.

Mr. Hero noted that Attorney Austgen had cited certain sections of the sign ordinance. Mr. Hero referred to a portion of the sign ordinance “C10”. He stated that the ordinance states that written notice must be given to whoever put the sign up and they are given 30 days to remove the sign. Mr. Hero stated Attorney Austgen gave this ordinance to a police officer who visited his office. Attorney Austgen stated he would not divulge any conversations he had with law enforcement. Attorney Austgen stated he did not know what Mr. Hero’s understanding of this situation was and he did not know what the officer told Mr. Hero.

Mr. Hero cited an Indiana case wherein an individual was convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor for taking signs off of a roadway.

Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if the female in Mr. Kil’s vehicle assisted him in taking down the signs. Mr. Kil stated he took the signs. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if there was a female in his vehicle. Mr. Kil responded, “I don’t know, Joe, was there?” Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he recalled if there was a female in his car. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he was telling him the truth.

Mr. Hero stated one of the policemen stated there was a female in Mr. Kil’s vehicle when he came to the police station. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he was a public official, what he was doing with a female in his vehicle when he was picking up the signs. Mr. Kil responded, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Joe. I took the signs, there’s no doubt about it.”

Mr. Hero next addressed Mr. Forbes. He stated Mr. Forbes was present while Mr. Kil was picking up the signs, He stated at some point, Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes cars pulled parallel to each other and they had a conversation. Mr. Hero stated Mr. Kil then got out of his vehicle and picked up more signs. Mr. Forbes responded that he was there putting out his own election signs and then he left.

Mr. Hero stated Mr. Forbes is the Town Board president and he saw Mr. Kil taking the signs. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Forbes why he did not stop Mr. Kil from taking the signs. Mr. Forbes reiterated that he was there to put out his signs and then he left.

Mr. Hero reiterated that Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil had a conversation. Mr. Forbes stated he did not recall speaking with Mr. Kil. Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Forbes had a “memory blank” about talking to Mr. Kil the night the signs were taken.

Mr. Hero stated this matter has been referred to the Prosecutor’s Office and he hopes there will be some action taken on it.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he takes exception with Attorney Austgen’s not being willing to take the time to explain the statutes. He stated it’s not fair. The audience was there for answers and they’re not getting them.

Mr. Parada stated he had heard that the drawings were going to be redone for the roundabout. He asked if there was anything that the citizens could review. Mr. Kil stated that he did not have anything with him at the present time. He stated the consultants were asked to revisit their drawings and renderings of not only the down town but also the configuration of Joliet Street as it would tie into 96th Avenue. Mr. Kil explained that is why the comprehensive plan meeting was postponed, to allow the Town time to revisit some options so they could be presented to everyone at the public hearing and then allow feedback.

Mr. Parada asked why the meeting was postponed. Mr. Kil started to explain the Town needed the time. Mr. Parada stated it was due to the stack of remonstrances and the Town’s representatives didn’t know how to react. Mr. Kil asked why Mr. Parada was asking him a question and not allowing him to respond. Mr. Parada responded by saying he doesn’t like much of what Mr. Kil says.

Mr. Parada stated when the citizens wanted to cancel the meeting until after the election, it was not done. He stated once the Town’s representatives were put into the corner where they had to respond, the meeting was cancelled. Mr. Parada stated there were many petitions and remonstrances that they expected a pretty immediate response to from the Town.

Mr. Parada asked if more money was being spent on having the Joliet plans redrawn. Mr. Kil stated it would probably cost a little bit more. Mr. Parada asked if there was anything that was going to make it safer (roundabout). He stated he has news that the people present in the audience tonight do not want to see this project happen at all. Mr. Parada stated they don’t want the roundabout in this location.

Mr. Parada informed the Council that the people (PAC) are here to stay. They are not going anywhere. He stated they are going to keep pushing the issue on Joliet Street; they don’t want the roundabout in this location. Mr. Parada vehemently stated that the residents do not want commercial traffic going through the Joliet-Thielen area.

Mr. Parada stated that when they spoke about the issue at the Plan Commission meeting, he was told the roundabout would get rid of 90 percent of the traffic on Joliet Street. Mr. Parada stated if you sit at Dunkin Donuts and count the number of vehicles going west on Joliet Street that then go north… that this traffic would not be affected by a roundabout or whether the roundabout was there or not. Mr. Parada stated he could not be convinced that any vehicle that was going to go north is going to go to 96th Avenue, go through a commercial area and then pull out on Route 41 to go north. He reiterated that this does not make sense.

Mr. Parada stated if the roundabout has no other considerations for safety…it doesn’t fit the guidelines that the State of Indiana has for roundabouts. He stated that roundabouts should never be close to railroad tracks. He stated the residents have a concern about the roundabout and will continue to have a concern about it. He reiterated that nobody wanted the roundabout in his neighborhood.

Mr. Parada stated the residents are getting stronger every day and more and more people are joining them. Mr. Parada stated he does not really have anything personal against anybody, but the residents want to see the proposed roundabout go away, move it because the residents don’t want it.

John Schafer, 14290 West 94th Avenue:
Mr. Schafer stated he would like to comment on the new development proposed at 93rd Avenue and White Oak. He asked if the Council collects fees from the developer for a park. Mr. Forbes stated that the Town collects park impact fees. Mr. Kil explained that Indiana law is pretty clear on impact fees, and park impact fees are one of the few things that the Town can collect impact fees for. Mr. Kil stated the park impact fees are pretty hefty.

Mr. Schafer asked about infrastructure fees. Mr. Kil informed him that there are system development fees collected for water and sewer. Mr. Schafer stated he was asking about fees related to more public services due to the impact and burden another development has on the Town. He asked if the developer paid these impact fees and took some of the burden off of the Town. Mr. Kil stated that fees are in the building permit and the onus is on the developer. He stated the Town saves this money received from building permits for projects such as expansion of the Wastewater Treatment plant, new wells and other Town improvements. Mr. Kil stated a fee cannot be assessed for everything because Indiana is not a home rule state. Mr. Kil stated that St. John’s building permit fees are likely the highest in Lake County. He stated the Town tries to cover every aspect using the fees from the building permits. Mr. Kil stated as the Town grows, assessed values increase and money increased grows, this is intended for infrastructure use. He stated if there is one thing the Town could use money for it is the roads. Mr. Kil stated the lack of money available for road work in Indiana is aggravating.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and moved to adjournment.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
Susan E. Wright, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council